A small white Papillon
Papillon Quick Summary
Also Known AsButterfly Dog
Height (at withers)8-12in (20-30.5cm)
Weight5-10lbs (2-4.5kg)
Hair Colour(s)White, patches
Lifespan15-18 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size2-4
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Papillon is a dainty and elegant Toy dog. The body is small and compact, with short straight legs and a feathered tail that curls over the back. The fine head has a narrow muzzle, dark round eyes and characteristic large and feathered ears. The silky coat is long and flowing, and the colouring tends to be white with patches of black, lemon or tan, amongst others.


Papillons are cheerful and sociable dogs with outgoing personalities and bags of character. While being elegant and graceful, they are also energetic and love to play and even work. They also love being around people, sitting on laps, meeting new people and often give kisses. It should come as no surprise that they make excellent companion dogs and family pets. Although not highly strung, early socialisation is sometimes required to help promote stable temperaments, as some can be confident and sociable while but others may be more timid and nervous. These very intelligent little dogs are quick learners and always eager to please, and they often excel in obedience and agility training. Therefore they are suitable for novice and experienced dog owners alike, although take note that some can be bossy, possessive and dificult to housebreak. Papillons get along well with older, more considerate children but are not suitable for smaller kids due to their small size. They will also get along with cats and other dogs they are raised with, but may try to dominate larger dogs. They tend to be friendly and welcoming towards strangers, but being quite vocal, they still make good watchdogs.

History & Skills

Papillons originate from France and are one of the olderst purebred Toy dogs, enjoying a long history dating back to the 1300s. Although their exact origins are unclear, their name translates as butterfly thanks to their fringed ears resembling the insects outspread wings. These these little spaniels were favourites of the continetal courts and appear in artwork of this time. In recent times it has been found that these dogs are excellent scent trackers, and these days they make popular companions, family pets, and are also used as therapy dogs and to assist the deaf.

Breed Specific Ailments

Papillons tend to live between 15-18 years and are a relatively healthy breed of dog. Some of the health concerns that have been noted include luxating patella, PRA, heart problems, liver disorders, anemia, epilepsy, and sensitivity to drugs and chemicals.


Papillons are low shedders and so are suitable for those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are not overly excessive, and their silky coat will need brushing around twice a week. Although trimming is not required, hair between the pads of the feet can be trimmed, and hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons. The ears should be kept clean and dry to reduce the chance of infection too.

Exercise & Environment

Papillons tend to live indoors but are lively and active dogs that need plenty of exercise outdoors. They will need a daily walk plus access to a secure outside area in which to play. Being excellent trackers, they love to work and enjoy getting involved with family activities. Care is needed though, especially with puppies, because these dogs are good jumpers and may try some dangerous leaps.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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